Career Resource

How COVID-19 is Disrupting the Recruitment Process in 2020
BY 3P Partners | August 25, 2020

Three Key Factors affecting the recruitment process in 2020

COVID-19 has imposed a new layer of risk assessment when considering a career change – here are three areas that we’ve noticed are affecting candidates’ decision-making in 2020.

  1. Traveling for an in-person interview

A new element when considering a career change is the added layer of risk related to travelling to an interview. Bloomberg reported that Nestle and Cargill were among some of the first conglomerates to halt business related travel in March as COVID-19 continued to spread across the globe. A Gartner study showed that 86% of companies transitioned to virtual interviews in April, and 85% planned to use online platforms for onboarding.

Although recruiters were utilizing online platforms long before COVID-19, CNBC reported that 84% of recruiters are in the process of adapting their hiring processes to facilitate remote exchanges. There has been a greater investment in social media analytics as more than 58% of recruiters are using these platforms as well as artificial intelligence and text messaging to connect with and attract potential hires.

Despite the rapid adoption of remote hiring processes, not all companies are able to rely solely on virtual tools. Companies operating in “essential” industries, such as food manufacturing or agriculture, require face-to-face interviews and onsite onboarding and training. Here are a few things candidates must keep in mind to ensure potential employers are providing a safe interview environment:

  • Are temperature checks performed upon arrival?
  • Are candidates/employees required to fill out an exposure form?
  • Are masks required?
  • Is social distancing being practiced where possible?
  • What practices have been adopted to reduce the risk of COVID-19 cases within the office/facility?
  1. Employer’s response to the pandemic 

According to Forbes, Salesforce announced earlier this week that they would be extending their remote work through Summer 2021, a decision following the likes of Google and Facebook, while companies such as Twitter have announced that employees may work remote indefinitely. This transition has increased the candidate talent pool and created greater flexibility around the hiring process. For many candidates in essential industries, however, work remote is not an option due to the nature of the work they are performing. An employer’s response to the COVID pandemic and dedication to ensuring a safe work environment then becomes a key factor in a candidate’s decision-making criteria.

Faegre Drinker, a global law firm offers a Q&A Employer Guide: Return to Work in the Time of COVID-19. According to the EEOC, “An employer may screen job applicants for symptoms of COVID-19 after making a conditional job offer, as long as it does so for all entering employees in the same type of job.” They shared that an employer may delay the start date of a new position if the candidate presents symptoms and is protected by the EEOC to withdraw the job offer.

The CDC offers comprehensive guides for both employers and employees to ensure a safe and healthy workplace. Some components for candidates to consider include the risk level of the people in their household, access to childcare, and exposure to others. Upon returning to the workplace, the CDC suggests maintaining social distance from those around you, wearing a mask, and washing/sanitizing hands and surfaces regularly. The CDC published a COVID-19 Screening tool  – a pdf form that employers can use to identify COVID symptoms in the workplace.

Evelin Dacker, MD wrote article in May about opening up social circles with consideration for COVID-19 risk tolerance and etiquette, which can be directly applied to the workplace.

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  1. Relocating for a new position

PwC shared the impact of COVID-19 on global mobility with a survey conducted across 350 companies in 37 different countries. The results found that 40% had a significant impact on the ability of mobile employees to do business as usual, and two-thirds of companies that had employees on secondment or transfer offered the option to return home. Many postponed future relocation, and 58% said they were allowing their employees to start new roles from their home country. The survey also showed that only 12% felt the pandemic would trigger a fundamental rethink on mobility, and only 20% believed the number of international moves would decrease.

In our latest article, Coronavirus Unintended Consequences: Added Value Through Remote Workforce, we addressed the benefits of the growing remote force for the employer, including access to diverse talent, reduced overhead, and untapped growth potential through satellite offices and new markets within various time zones. Additional benefits to a remote workforce include flexible work schedules as well as new opportunities for women and candidates with disabilities, who would not otherwise have access to these job opportunities. We acknowledge that while remote work is not applicable to all industries and positions, it is becoming an increasingly popular trend among 2020 job seekers.



When it comes to hiring and career changes, the COVID-19 pandemic has certainly complicated an already arduous decision-making process. There are now added complexities around interview logistics, safety and cleanliness within the workplace, and adapting to a growing remote workforce.

Whether you are considering making a career change or you have started the application process, it is important to keep the following in mind:

  1. Are you comfortable travelling for an in-person interview?
  2. Does the employer’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic match your risk tolerance? What policies and practices have been implemented to ensure a safe work environment?
  3. Can the work required of this position be performed remotely? How is the company set up to handle remote employees?

Feel free to contact one of our consultants to discuss further: